Mindhunter is another 2017 hit from Netflix, no doubt. Headed by the brilliant David Fincher, Mindhunter’s analytical writing and “Fincher Stamp” makes it a fantastic watch. The show is extremely slow burning and filled will intense characters and poised direction. It is simply hard to look away and extremely easy to binge watch.
In the late 1970s two FBI agents expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters.
Mindhunter isn’t based on a true story, but it does follow real life cases that happened during the time period. This makes it substantially scarier to know that these cases really happened. The show primarily focuses on FBI Agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and FBI Agent Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) as they travel across the United States interviewing some of the most brutal murderers and rapists in history. They are doing this because learning information of why these people did what they did could possibly help prevent it in the future. The concept is extremely interesting and sold well because of the genuine chemistry between Ford and Bill. I really like how Mindhunter isn’t headed by any big name, A-List actors, mainly because you can focus on the writing and overall substance more. However, I was thoroughly impressed with the performances from Groff and McCallany. Groff made my skin crawl in a few scenes where he would interview the killers.
What makes Mindhunter so captivating is the writing and editing. The way the show is written perfectly connects each episode and helps transcend clichés that come with the crime drama genre. It is so easy to get engrossed in the dialogue and it builds more personal and powerful as the show progresses. The editing is really pleasing as well. The first few episodes in particular show Ford and Bill travel to numerous states teaching police officers techniques and interviewing violent offenders. It could have been easy to lose the viewer with our characters jumping from city to city seeing new faces, but the slick and concise editing made it effortless.
David Fincher’s style is all over the show and I LOVE it. He directed 4 episodes and of course shot mostly on a RED camera (his personal favorite). He is known for rarely having any “shaky cam” in his films, and if he does it is only at appropriate climatic times that demonstrate a drastic situation. In Mindhunter, 95% of the show is shot on Dolly, Tripod, and Jib. However, there is 5% that has that necessary Fincher “shaky cam” and its so beautifully executed. Mindhunter feels like Fincher’s 2007 film Zodiac, except longer and more dissected. He truly has a vision for the thriller/crime genre.
Overall, Mindhunter is one of the best original series to come out in 2017. We had to wait all year for it, but it is definitely worth the wait. The entire cast is great, the writing is confident, and the technical aspects are executed beautifully. It also has one of the best season finales in recent memory. I don’t want to spoil any of the show so my best advice is to go watch it and buckle up for an intense ride. Season Two has already been green-lit and I’m already counting down the days.